Calgon, Take Me Away

altThere was a commercial when I was a kid. A woman surrounded by kids, sweaty and frazzled, praying for one thing:

Calgon to take her away.

At the time, I didn’t understand this yearning. Now that I’m a mom? Totally and absolutely.

There’s this urge – and I don’t know if it’s just me – for something or someone to take us a way for just five minutes. Fine. I’m lying. More like five hours. And it’s not just away from the kids.

It’s taking us away from responsibilities, from stress, from reality. When I was a kid, mums were freedom personified. They got to pick what was for dinner, what time everyone went to bed, when we could play outside, and when we could play with paints. More importantly, mums got to eat m&m’s and drink soda.

Obviously, I had no idea mums needed the caffeine and chocolate like an surfer needs waves, like peas need carrots, like buttermilk biscuits need butter. Now I do.

Mums may get to decide what’s for dinner, but they also have to cook it, argue with the children to eat it, get frustrated when they don’t, and then have to clean a mess only to be confronted a half hour later with cries of “I’m hungry.”

And mums may bet to pick bedtime, but that’s pure survival instincts at work. By the time the evening is done, the children must go to bed or else they won’t survive.

So, more and more as the year progresses and winter break is nothing but a fond memory, I find myself asking for Calgon to take me away.

Or for a billionaire earl with a penchant for slightly overweight single mums.

I’m not picky.